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Annie A. Ballantyne

November 2015

Billy Flett photo

  • Home Community:
    Grand Rapids, Manitoba
  • Cultural Identity:
  • Current Position:
    Principal, Grand Rapids School
  • Education/Training:
    B.Ed., PBCE (Special Education), Administrator Level 1

  • Roles/Responsibilty:
    Supervising staff, scheduling, looking for programs that will engage students, and building maintenance.
“I tell them to look for opportunities
and take advantage of whatever
comes their way...”

What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Being frustrated with the amount of time it takes to secure funding for much needed supports. I always have a positive outlook that things tend to get better if one persists.

What or who inspired you to really go after the profession you are
in now?

 I have had good relationships with most of my teachers. I have a love for reading and enjoy teaching students how to read. I love seeing the students and staff, “get it”.

What critical choices or decisions did you make that helped you get where you are today?
I was always willing to try something new and move to new situations. I had a positive attitude and worked hard to do the best in any task I was presented.  I enjoy working with people and children.

Message of Encouragement:
 I always tell young people that education is important and that they should never give up. I tell them to look for opportunities and take advantage of whatever comes their way and that making healthy choices will take them a long way. Drugs and alcohol have negatively affected the lives of many of my students. Now I encourage my students to keep life free of those negative influences. My wish is that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can go through life without being affected by this
as well.

 As a leader in the school, I encourage my staff to strive for their best and to try initiatives that they think might make a difference. I feel very lucky to be working with the staff I have presently and those with whom I have worked with in the past. I have enjoyed watching teachers try new ideas and celebrated with them when they achieved their goals. They have taught me a lot.

I have witnessed more parental involvement in learning fairs, science fairs, fundraising and volunteerism, as well as participation in cooking, sewing, cultural  classes and events that have been planned by our community groups and staff. At Grand Rapids school under the direction of our community we are striving to regain our Cree Language. We have transitioned from a school which had no support for the Cree language to a school in which students, staff and Elders now support and promote the language. Additionally, we had students who initially, made negative comments about learning the language and now those students are enjoying that language.

I want all students and staff to be successful. It warms my heart to know that my students are doing well in their chosen paths and my staff is enjoying being in this school.